Florida health department to audit county's handing of COVID-19 vaccines after 1,000 doses damaged

The Florida Department of Health is auditing the Palm Beach County Health Care District after it reported that more than 1,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were damaged last week, the department said Feb. 3.  

Officials found that 1,160 doses of the vaccine were stored incorrectly in a refrigerator that was turned off, CBS News reported. It's unclear how long the vaccines had been stored improperly.

"It is a tragedy that even one dose of this critical resource would go to waste and not be used to save a life from COVID-19," Scott Rivkees, MD, Florida's state surgeon general, said in a news release. "We hope to see this situation rectified and addressed immediately to ensure the Palm Beach County Health Care District does not let one more dose go to waste."

The health department said it has requested the audit to be completed by Feb. 12. It is asking the Palm Beach County Health Care District to perform a full accounting of all vaccine-related equipment and procedures it has in place to store and handle COVID-19 vaccines. 

Read the health department's full news release here

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